The  Metro Bistrot


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Welcome to the Metro Bistrot!

Bien  manger
savoir boire  

Eat well
know to drink

176 Main Street
Southbridge, Massachusetts 01550

for reservations

we are open
Easter Sunday,
1 April

Reserve today!

book online

(online booking possible
only up to an hour before start of service)
or call

(508) 764-2073
(860) 207-7135 (cell--24 hours

serving and seating Hours


Wed-Fri 11:30 am  2:30 pm

wed-Sat  5:30 — 9 PM

we are closed on
mondays and Tuesdays
and non-holiday Sundays.

"The goal of the Bistrot is to make you feel that you are not in Southbridge or in the vulgarities of television; not that there is anything wrong with place or the mythologies of TV. It is just that sometimes you want to feel to be somewhere other than where you are or where everyone else is. And the senses of taste are the easiest and fastest way to get there."  Jay Livernois / Owner-cook-dish washer 

The Metro Bistrot is located at the Wells Plaza on 176 Main Street (which is Route 131), Southbridge, Massachusetts, just ten minutes away from Interstate 84 and the Mass Pike in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and about ten minutes off of Route 20 in Charlton, if you are coming from the Worcester area.
     We seat for lunch Wednesday thru Friday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, and for dinner Wednesday thru Saturday from 5:30 to 9pm. We are closed on Monday and Tuesday, and on non-holiday Sundays.
We do not have a wine and beer license, but customers are encouraged to bring wine (there is a corkage fee; $5 for the 1st bottle, $10 for two or more). In France, drinking wine with a meal is an integral part of eating. We recommend the wines at Austin Spirits just down from us on Main Street in Southbridge (go to the 3rd isle), The Winebuyer's Outlet in Sturbridge on route 131, Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge, Marty's in Dudley, or Pomfret Spirits in Pomfret, Connecticut (on route 169) to find reasonably priced French wines compatible with our food. Of course there is also nothing wrong with just bringing your favorite wine no matter where it is from or how good or bad it might be.
     We accept all major credit cards (i.e. Visa, MasterCard, and Amex), cash, and checks.
     Please click on our menu tab above for changes and specials to our menu as it often changes on a daily basis.

     Speaking of the menu, it is important for us to say to our potential diners that the Metros focus is on real French food at reasonable prices in a casual atmosphere. We are not an intimidating French restaurant with ridiculous prices, miniscule portions, and heavy butter and cream sauces. However, our seating is limited, and our food is created one plate at a time. And it seems that most people in the area want to eat between 5:30 and 6:30 pm, and there is no way we can accommodate all the requests we have by people to be seated at that time. For this reason we urge people to make reservations in advance especially on Friday and Saturday evenings. Or, if you come without reservations, please understand that first we seat people with reservations or regular customers and that you must have patience if the servers or the kitchen becomes backed up. Good food takes a certain time to prepare, and even at our best, mistakes can and are made in timing.
    Our main cook and co-owner, Marie-Paule Marthe, was born and raised in Orleans, France in the Loire valley but lived for thirty years in the south of France in the Languedoc region in the Cévennes mountains and Montpellier (a medieval city which is now the fastest growing metropolis in France). Although an actress and teacher with Roy Hart Theatre and a former member of the French Foreign Service, she comes from a solid food and wine tradition in her family (one side of her family were cheese makers from Orleans via the Ariege, the other, winemakers from Bordeaux) with years of experience cooking, and of course, eating well, in France. Both her parents worked for some years in the hotel and restaurant business in Orleans.

Marie-Paule Marthe in the Metro next to a photo of BB.
The bar with some flora at the Metro.


Jay Livernois with a toast to start the day.

    Another cook and proprietor of the Metro is Jay Livernois who is of French Canadian descent on his father's side. Jay was born in Southbridge and owns the fourth generation family farm (which he uses for foraging and hunting) with Marie-Paule at the top of Lebanon Hill (just over the state border in Woodstock). Jay's great-grandfather, Joseph Livernois (for whom he is named), bought the old Jane Ide farm on what was then known as Jane Ide Road (changed to English Neighborhood Road in the 60s) in 1916
     He is the manager and present in the front of the Bistrot where he assembles and inspects each plate before it is served. Jay places an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and changes the menu weekly and sometimes daily according to what is available at the markets or what he can forage locally. He shops at markets everyday, going from Morse's farm stand (yes it is reopened) to Le grand lapin or Le grand ygrec and to Hartford's Restaurant Depot throughout the week. If you live in the area, do not be surprised to see him rushing through a local store's aisle or parking lot. However, the Bistrot's superb bread is baked by Suzanne's Artisanal Breads in Southbridge, and we feature locally made cheeses from the Couet Farm in Dudley and organically grown mushrooms from Southbridge.
    Also, each day for lunch, Jay and Marie-Paule feature special dishes in the prix fixte menu created from the best in local fish or meat using a particular knowledge of French food and how to prepare it.

     Finally, it is necessary to recognize Jonathan and Lisa Krach, of the now shuttered Vienna Inn and Restaurant of Southbridge, who got us to open The Metro Bistrot to help the Town to become more of a dining destination. Their story and the resent closing of the Vienna is a tragedy played out over two years starting with their disastrous appearance on Gordon Ramsay's Hotel Hell television series (they were paid for the scripted wreck), then the failure of their airport restaurant venture in Southbridge, and then in an inopportune electrical fire at the Vienna just before the holidays in 2017. All this has resulted in horrific publicity and a ruinous insurance and banking settlement. Finally, at the end of January 2018, the historic building was sold (in a somewhat opaque manner) and the restaurant and inn are no more. Southbridge and the area is poorer for its loss.   

French Freud Potatoes
 by Charles Boer*
French Freud potatoes, Monsieur Lacan,
Are only properly eaten skins on.
Thus, they never see themselves what they are,
Never even feel the potato peeler's hand.
Then what do they think they are doing on the table
Of the Restaurant Grand Fumé? Nothing, monsieur,
Part of the menu, mere pommes de terre.
Let their flagrance not disturb your meal.
And him? It bothers me that someone is so close.
Oh, pay no attention to the waiter's recommendation:
He is a statue himself standing there thinking
Only of what he will eat when he goes home:
Perhaps a duck that thinks it is l'orange,
Perhaps a potato that does not know its place.
*Charles Boer, noted translator, lecturer, UConn Professor Emeritus in English, 
writer, poet, and patron of The Metro Bistrot, is the author, 
along with the psychologist and best-selling writer, James Hillman
of Freud's Own Cookbook. This work was in print for more than 20 years and 
translated into 23 different languages with even a restaurant in Japan devoted solely 
to its recipes. 
Charles Boer passed away on 18 November 2014, aged 75, from pancreatic cancer.

Above: Charles Boer at the Bistrot with Richard Mann (one of his youngest and last students)
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